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Secret Government Research Into Unexplained ‘Phenomena’47:05

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A new book tells the secret history of the federal government’s long investigation into mental telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition – for defense. The author’s with us.

Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 Lunar Module pilot, moves across the lunar surface as he looks over a traverse map during extravehicular activity (EVA). (NASA)
Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 Lunar Module pilot, moves across the lunar surface as he looks over a traverse map during extravehicular activity (EVA). (NASA)

Science fiction got a run for its money from the US Government for decades of the Cold War and beyond. Your CIA, your Defense Department, wanted to understand the paranormal. They invested richly in research into extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. Mental telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, remote viewing. Spoon benders and psychic soldiers. A new book tells the story – and brings it right up to date. This hour On Point, the psychic soldiers of the USA. -- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Annie Jacobsen, author, journalist and historian. Author of the new book, “Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigation Into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis.” Also author of "The Pentagon's Brain, "Area 51" and "Operation Paperclip." (@AnnieJacobsen)

Hal Puthoff, physicist and and former program director of the Stanford Research Institute, where he lead programs conducting remote-viewing research for the Department of Defense and US Intelligence agencies. President and CEO of electrodynamics firm EarthTech International.

Gail Hayssen, psychic and former participant in research programs in precognition and clairvoyance.

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News: The secret history of the US government's "psychic arms race" — "Skeptics may scoff at the existence of extrasensory perception, or ESP, and other paranormal powers, but the U.S. government hasn’t always been so quick to dismiss the idea. In fact, millions of dollars have been spent over several decades to find out if such human capabilities actually exist. So what prompted our government to take interest in these phenomena?"

TIME: The U.S. Military Believes People Have a Sixth Sense -- "Over decades, wars change location and weapons design evolves, while man’s perceptual capacities remain relatively close to what they have been for thousands of years. Fifty years ago in Vietnam, Joe McMoneagle used his sixth sense to avoid stepping on booby traps, falling into punji pits, and walking into Viet Cong ambushes. His ability to sense danger was not lost on his fellow soldiers, and the power of his intuitive capabilities spread throughout his military unit."

The Hollywood Reporter: Was Chuck Barris a CIA Assassin? "There's a Possibility," 'Dangerous Mind' Producer Says — "Do I think Chuck was a CIA assassin? As Chuck would say, I can neither confirm nor deny that. I would like to believe there’s truth in what he said. [George Clooney and I] decided that we were going to take [what he claims in the book] and use that. Is it plausible? Could that actually have happened? I really couldn’t tell you one way or another."

Read An Excerpt Of "Phenomena" By Annie Jacobsen

This program aired on April 18, 2017.

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